Three names will be added to the list of Norths’ first grade players when the Devils’ Intrust Super Cup season begins in Mackay on Saturday night.
Devils coach Rohan Smith has tonight named his team for the first round, including recruits Bryce Donovan, Tony Tumusa and Brandon Manase.
Jack Ahearn will again captain the Devils in 2020 while the club’s Brisbane Broncos contingent of Herbie Farnworth, Ethan Bullemor, Jordan Riki and Pride Petterson-Robati are set to play against the Cutters.
Tumusa and Donovan played together at Redcliffe in 2018 while Manase has returned to the Intrust Super Cup after a stint in Melbourne.
They will be handed Devil player numbers from 1291 to 1293, joining the list who have played first grade for Norths since the club’s inaugural season in 1933.
Oshae Tuiasau, Calum Gahan, Brandon Lee, David Fauid and Jayden Corrigan were among those not considered due to injury but they are expected back shortly.
The Devils have enjoyed a solid pre-season with a draw against Wynnum Manly and wins over Redcliffe and Sunshine Coast.
The nucleus of Saturday night’s team to play the Cutters has been with Smith since he took over for the 2018 season, leading the Devils to the finals last season for the first time since 2012.
“We’ve been fortunate to keep the majority of our playing group together over the last two seasons while also bringing in players of the likes of Bryce Donovan, Tony Tumusa and Brandon Manase,” Smith said.
“Each of them has had some good moments in the pre-season so we’re looking forward to them playing in this first game of the season.
“We’ve been training since the first week of November so the players are keen to get out there and Mackay will provide a real challenge for us.
“The Cutters have a new coach and some new players so they will be ready for us.”
The Cutters overcame the Devils in Mackay in late 2018 in a match that marked Bullemor’s Norths debut.
He will be among the four Broncos squad members who are well-known to Norths fans. Farnworth set a Devils point-scoring record for a single-game last season while Riki was part of the Norths’ colts premiership in 2018 and Petterson-Robati has flourished since he was signed by the Devils a year ago.
Those players not chosen for the Intrust Super Cup trip to Mackay will line up in a Brisbane Rugby League trial match between Devils feeder teams Wests and Valleys this weekend.
The Hastings Deering Colts and the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup competitions begin this weekend with the Devils meeting Mackay in all grades.